AN all-terrain powered wheelchair is opening up the foothills of Ingleborough, including the UK’s only fully wheelchair accessible show cave, to people who have difficulty walking.

The chair, known as a tramper, is available free of charge by pre-arrangement from the entrance to the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail in Clapham, the gateway to some of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s finest limestone scenery.

The 1.3 mile Nature Trail, part of a popular route to the summit of Ingleborough, is well known for its connections with the Farrer family, in particular the celebrated botanical artist Reginald Farrer.

The picturesque route passes by a lake and winds through scenic woodland into an open dale before reaching the imposing entrance to one of the UK’s finest natural underground wonders, Ingleborough Cave.

The pothole was first entered and made accessible in 1837 and is the premier show cave in the Yorkshire Dales. In 2012, it celebrated 175 years of being open to visitors who can see an awe inspiring range of stunning cave formations.

The large passages are full of artefacts dating back millions of years along with evidence of the significant impact of the Ice Ages.

The cave has been featured many times on television. The tours leave from the entrance at regular intervals with an expert guide to help interpret the many features.

The passages are floodlit with well-laid concrete paths, the usual walking or outdoor clothing will suffice and there are no steps so the pothole is accessible for pushchairs. Dogs are allowed on leads and it is very rarely affected by flooding, in fact the wetter the weather the more spectacular the system.

The tramper has been funded by grants from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund and Stories in Stone.

It is a four-year programme of community and heritage projects developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership, which is led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) and mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

Debbie Boswell, Stories in Stone’s Discover Ingleborough Officer, said: “One of the scheme’s aims is to increase access opportunities for all visitors to the Ingleborough area, so we are really pleased to see this tramper introduced to one of the most iconic limestone landscapes in the country. We're sure it will be very well used.”

Andrew Jarman, Manager of Ingleborough Cave, said: “We have been looking for a solution to open up access for the less able through the beautiful Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail that leads to us here at Ingleborough Cave for some time.

"Thanks to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust this has now become a reality and we couldn’t be happier to welcome new visitors who wouldn’t have been able to see this beautiful underground wonder in times gone by.”

Anyone interested in using the tramper needs to book it in advance. A standard wheelchair is also available for accompanied tramper users wishing to join a guided tour of the Cave.

The Stories in Stone programme enables people from all backgrounds and of all ages to learn about, enjoy and help manage the stunning limestone landscape around Ingleborough, both above and below ground.

It includes a wide range of projects and activities such as restoration of field barns, drystone walls and wildlife habitats. People get involved in archaeological digs, digital archiving and collecting oral history.

It supports local people and groups wanting to look after their local area, provide formal and informal training opportunities, offer new learning opportunities for local schoolchildren and deliver events and activities to celebrate the local heritage.

It is also aimed at improving physical and intellectual access to the area and its heritage features.

The Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership is led by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT). It also includes the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Yorkshire Dales Landscape Research Trust, Natural England, Hanson UK and Tarmac Ltd.

Landowners, farmers, educational establishments, parish and district councils, businesses and local history and community groups are also involved in developing and delivering the scheme.

For further information about the tramper or to make a reservation contact Ingleborough Cave on or 015242 51242.

To enquire about the YDNPA’s Sustainable Development Fund call 01969 652337, email or visit

Ingleborough Cave is open daily until the end of October. Find out more at